Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Let’s face it. Traveling can be stressful. When you’re away from home, it’s easy to skip your skin care routine. Couple this with lack of sleep, dry cabin air, and humidity changes; travel can negatively affect your skin.
Here are five tips to help you keep your skin healthy during travel if you plan ahead.
Wear sunscreen daily:
Spending time in the sun is fun and healthy and can help you get vitamin D. But too much unprotected time in the sun can cause harm to your skin and health. Using sunscreen helps protect your skin against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) light and decreases your risk of skin cancer, sunburn, wrinkles, and age spots.
Sunscreen works well, but only if you apply it correctly. When choosing a sunscreen, you will want a product that protects against UVA and UVB rays (SPF of 30 or higher). Protect your skin by applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside. Make sure you use enough to cover your whole body and face (don’t forget your ears, neck, and tops of feet). Always reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.
You also want to check the active ingredients in your favorite serums and creams. Ingredients like retinol, alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and hydroquinone increase your sun sensitivity and risk of sun damage. Always wear daily sunscreen if your skin care products have these ingredients.
You may not realize it, but sun damage starts to add up over time. Protecting your skin from the sun’s damage is the single most important thing you can do in your travel skin care routine. Make sure to check the ingredients in your favorite serums and creams
Buy travel-sized versions of your favorite skin care products and keep your skin care routine simple:
Simple is better when it comes to travel skin care. Keeping up with your normal skin care routine is better for your skin. Using too many products on your skin can cause irritation and breakouts. The American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests sticking to the basics, such as a gentle cleanser, sunscreen, and moisturizer.
If your skin care go-to’s aren’t available in travel-sized minis, you can always transfer your products to air travel approved (TSA) containers. This also comes in handy when traveling with expensive skin care products.
Stay hydrated and moisturize:
If your travels include flying, it’s important to remember that most airplane cabin air is typically dry (20 percent humidity). This dry air can cause dryness of your skin, eyes, and inside of your nose. Your best bet is to apply a moisturizer before, during, and after your flight. Also, keep in mind alcohol can cause dehydration. Stick to drinking water. No one wants to arrive at their destination with dull, dry skin.
Treat your lips:
Don’t forget your lips! The sun can cause dry, chapped lips, even on a rainy, cloudy day. To help protect your lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays, choose a lip balm with a minimum of SPF 30 and has a sun-protective ingredient like zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Remember to apply the lip balm every 2 hours when you are outside.
The best way to treat dry, chapped lips is to use a gentle lip scrub followed by a moisturizing lip balm. Look for products that have ingredients such as castor, mineral, or hemp seed oil. Ceramides and shea butter will also help heal dry, cracked lips.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends avoiding lip products that contain camphor, eucalyptus, menthol, and salicylic acid, to name a few. These products irritate your lips.
Try a mid-flight face wash:
International flights can be lengthy. As mentioned, most airplane cabin air is typically dry. Taking care of your skin on a long flight should be your top priority. And washing your face while traveling can help you do this. Try heading to the restroom mid-flight, wash your face, and reapply your moisturizer. Use a gentle, non-abrasive skin cleanser that doesn’t contain alcohol. You’ll feel so refreshed when you land.
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American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2022). 7 dermatologists’ tips for healing dry, chapped lips.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2022). Face washing 101.
Review All References
American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2022). How to apply sunscreen.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2021). Skin cancer.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2022). Skin care tips dermatologists use.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2022). Wrinkles and other signs of sun-damaged skin can be treated.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Air travel.
Skin Cancer Foundation. (2020). Innovations in skin protection, part 1: Protecting across a broader spectrum.
Skin Cancer Foundation. (2018). Sun protection and vitamin D.
Skin Cancer Foundation. (2018). When beauty products cause sun sensitivity.
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